Mancham calls for reconciliation in the Maldives


Former President James R. Mancham, who is also Senior Advisor to the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, has, in a statement to United Press International, expressed concern at recent developments in the Maldives in which a number of prominent parliamentarians were arrested earlier this month.

On his way home from an international peace conference in Korea, Mr Mancham said that there was growing international interest for the well being of the detainees as well as genuine worry about the impact on the smooth path of democratic reform initiated by the President of the Maldives.

In a communiqué, Mr Mancham said many people had contacted him, as an advocate for peace and reconciliation, to add his voice to those calling for the prisoners to be released and the instruments of democracy to be reinstated.

“Particularly worrisome were the reports of rough handling, detention without charges and withdrawal of internationally accepted protection under the rule of law,” he said.

Amongst those arrested was the widely respected diplomat and former Minister Ibrahim Zaki, whose work as secretary general of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) had done much to underpin the sound economic development of the South Asian region over many years, as well as fostering grass roots relationships with civil society around the region.

Mr Mancham recalled that his own experiences over many years as a political leader in Seychelles had convinced him of the essential importance of maintenance of the rule of law, of transparency and a climate in which peaceful and constructive discussions could be held.
“These fundamentals of a modern day society go hand in hand with economic and social advancement, as well as confidence by the international community,” Mr Mancham said.

He said he had received suggestions that these experiences and those of like-minded internationalists should be offered to the government of the Maldives to help diffuse the current impasse over the detainees and initiate the reconciliation needed to return to the rule of law.

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